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Category Archives: Chutneys

Adamant Creeper as Food (Pirandai Thuvaiyal)

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Adamant Creeper (Cissus quadrangularis) is a perennial plant of the grape family. It is known as Pirandai in Tamil and is a low-maintenance hardy plant suitable for kitchen gardens. It can be propagated very easily by stem cutting – snip a few stems at the nodes and plant them in soil – it will grow into a new adamant creeper.

Adamant Creeper in kitchen garden

Adamant Creeper in kitchen garden

Adamant Creeper growing along with other thorned green leafy vegetables in kitchen garden

Adamant Creeper growing along with other thorned green leafy vegetables in kitchen garden

Closeup of Adamant Creeper nodes and leaves

Close-up of Adamant Creeper nodes and leaves

Adamant Creeper can be used to make a tasty dip (Pirandai thuvaiyal) that can be an accompaniment for dishes like dosa, chapathi or it can be mixed with rice and consumed. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Urad dal – 1 tbsp
  • Ginger – A small piece
  • Tamarind – A small gooseberry size
  • Coconut – Few pieces
  • Tender Adamant creeper (stringed) – Few pieces
  • Salt – to taste
  • Gingelly Oil – 1 to 2 tsp or as required

Prepreparation:

  • String adamant creeper using a knife (the same way as for ridge gourd), remove nodes. Cut, wash it, keep it aside.

Procedure:

  • Using a pan, sauté all the ingredients one after the other with a teaspoon of oil.
  • Wait till the heat subsides, add required salt, grind it in a mixer grinder as a dip/thuvaiyal – let it be coarse.
  • Delicious adamant creeper dip is ready. It goes well with plain ghee rice, karakulambu (hot, spicy curry), dosa or idly.

No of servings: 4

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Note: Adamant creeper causes itching, especially when it is wet. To get rid of itching, grease gingelly oil in palms while handling it. Also, tamarind is a must in the recipe – without it the dish will produce itchiness or pricking sensation in the mouth.


About Author

Anu priya, Early Childhood Educator

Anu priya – Early Childhood Educator

Anu Priya, is a woman who aims for balance in life. In the professional front, she is an Early Childhood Educator who is very keen about her career. She aspires to be a beacon to young little minds, loves to travel with them into their world, at their own pace. At home, she is a loving mom with lots of tricks up her sleeves to handle the pranks of her naughty brat and an evergreen queen of her sweetheart-husband. She is always willing to learn, likes to read a lot, explore recipes and experiment with them.

 


 

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Coconut Chutney With A Twist

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Could there be any South Indian who has not tasted coconut chutney? NO WAY…NO CHANCE. It is the most common side dish prepared in every South Indian household and is a perfect combination for pongal, vada, idli or dosa. The simplicity of its preparation also accounts for part of its popularity – just grind a mix of grated coconut, roasted Bengal gram dhal, green chilies, salt and then add tempering to it. But at some point it becomes boring to repeat the same recipe time and again. So, why not try a slight twist to the common coconut chutney to pep up things a little? Continue reading if you are eager to know what is the alteration in the usual recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • Here comes the twist – roasted Bengal gram dhal few pieces of raw, unripe mango (adjust quantity according to sourness/acidity)
  • 1-2 green chilies (balance acidity of mango with spiciness of chilies)
  • Salt to taste
  • Water to facilitate grinding

For Tempering:

  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp black gram dhal
  • Few curry leaves
  • 2 tsp of refined oil
Ingredients required for making coconut chutney

Ingredients required for making coconut chutney

Preparation: 

  1. Grind coconut gratings, unripe mango pieces, green chilies and salt into a smooth paste using a small quantity of water in a blender.
  2. Heat oil in a tadka pan/tempering pan.
  3. Add mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  4. Follow with the addition of black gram dhal.
  5. Turn off the flame and then add curry leaves to the tadka.
  6. Transfer tadka to the ground paste and mix.
Coconut chutney with a twist

Coconut chutney with a twist

That’s ‘Thengai Mangai Chutney’ (Coconut and Unripe Mango Chutney). Bask in the freshness of taste brought in by the element of twist.

Any other desirable twists to the common coconut chutney on mind? Add suggestions in the comments.

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Avocado Guacamole

Avocado Guacamole

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If you desperately want a break from the humdrum coconut, tomato, onion or roasted Bengal gram chutneys, here is something novel, prepared with quite an unusual core ingredient. Yes, it is the Avocado Guacamole. Don’t be dissuaded by the name – Avocado is nothing but our Butter fruit and guacamole (pronounced as gwak-a-molee) is just a thick paste of mashed avocado, often combined with citrus juice, onion and seasonings and usually served as a dip or in salads. You could simply rename it as Butter fruit chutney, if that suits you. Pick up some super duper tips as you learn this easy and exotic chutney recipe.

Avocado aka Butter Fruit

Avocado aka Butter Fruit

Cut Avocado exposing the stone inside.

Cut Avocado exposing the stone inside.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Ripe Avocados
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1 Onion
  • Green Chilies
  • 1-1  ½ tsp Cumin Powder
  • Few Cilantro Leaves
  • 1-2  tbsp Lime Juice
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (optional)
  • A pinch of salt

 Method:

  • Cut ripe avocados into halves, discard the big stone and scoop the pulp – this is a step I enjoy – it is a pleasure to scoop out the creamy-green butter-like pulp. Transfer the scoops of pulp to a bowl. Tip: Unripe fruits are not palatable. Keep the unripe fruits at room temperature along with some apples. The ethylene gas from apples accelerates the ripening of avocados (The same technique works excellently for ripening chickoos) . When the fruits are slightly soft to touch, they are ready for use.  At this stage use them immediately or refrigerate them. If you delay using them, the pulp may discolour, loose its freshness and deteriorate.
  • Drizzle lime juice over the pulp to avoid enzymatic browning. More info on enzymatic browning: The enzyme Polyphenol Oxidase (PPO or Phenolase) acts on the phenolic compounds in the fruit (4-methyl catechol, dopamine, pyrogallol, catechol, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, DOPA), in the presence of atmospheric oxygen to form  a brown pigment called melanin.  A neutral pH is optimal for the browning reaction. By adding lime juice, we lower the pH and impede the rate at which the enzymatic browning occurs.
  • Too smooth a paste lacks textural interest. So, mash the pulp coarsely with a fork.
  • Add finely grated garlic, finely chopped onions, very fine rings of chilies, cumin powder, olive oil, salt, finely chopped cilantro leaves to the pulp and mix well.
  • The chutney/guacamole is ready to be served. Relish it with hot chapathis – it goes without saying that this is the step I enjoy the most :-D.Tip: Prepare only the quantity that is required, more importantly just before the meal time. It is not advisable to store and use this, because lime juice arrests enzymatic browning only temporarily. With passage of time the guacamole may progressively darken and become an unappetizing mass.

 Servings: 4

Avocado Guacamole or Butter Fruit Chutney

Avocado Guacamole or Butter Fruit Chutney

Now, isn’t that a pakka no-fuss, no-cook chutney? The guacamole has subtle flavours with a big punch offered by the finely chopped chilies – the chilies are meant to be eaten and not discarded. The guacamole tastes as good without the olive oil, so we may consider it as an optional ingredient. Deseeded and finely chopped tomatoes can also be added to give it some vibrancy. It goes beautifully well not only with chapathis but also with dosas and breads. If you are the type who savours dips like hummus (Arabic chickpeas dip) and moutabel (Arabic eggplant dip), then you will definitely love this dish. Try this recipe when avocados are still in season and let me know what you think about it.

 

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